Why should you test your child’s brain skills?
Have you ever wondered why some children succeed academically but others fail even though they attend the same school, are in the same class, have the same teacher and study the same curriculum? Is it because of the teaching process or could there be something more to it?
How well a child processes and understands information (their cognitive skills) can affect their capacity to learn.
Cognitive skills are the underlying skills that must function for anyone to successfully read, hear, think, prioritize, plan, understand, remember, and solve problems. When they are strong, academic learning is fast, easy, efficient, and even fun. When cognitive skills are weak, academic learning will be a struggle, or impossible.
Knowing a child’s cognitive skill strengths and weaknesses allows us identify problems that affect their academic success. With proper training, their cognitive skills can be improved to ensure their academic success.
Do you ever wonder why your child might be good at one subject but struggle in another? For instance, when a child is good at most subjects but having trouble with math, the general assumption is that he is just “not a mathematical child”. But what if his difficulties in math have something to do with cognitive skills that can be trained? What if there was a way to help him get better at math that didn’t involve putting him through more math drills that only frustrate him further? If he could strengthen the cognitive skills that make math comprehension less difficult for him, perhaps all those extra math tuition classes would no longer be necessary.
The GIBSON Test of Brain Skills
The Gibson test of brain skills is a method of testing cognitive skills. To be clear, we’re not talking about an IQ test – far from it. The aim is not to see how smart your child is or how much she knows but to see how well her brain functions. The concept is similar to a test you perform on your computer to check its speed and performance.
“The Gibson Test contains many sub-tests commonly used to generate an IQ score, but it contains additional sub-tests that assess key cognitive skills that impact learning. It is possible to have an average or better IQ score yet struggle with some aspect of learning. IQ scores represent an average of several skills. That average can mask weak skills because the average can be offset by some high skills. Imagine a car with a great engine and aerodynamic design but a flat tire. One flat tire can keep even the hottest car from performing well.” – The Gibson Test of Brain Skills
The Gibson test can help identify the bottle-necks in your child’s cognitive processes that are hampering his learning capacity. Once identified, specific brain training programs can be employed to help your child strengthen those weaknesses.
Putting Aristotle’s brain to the test
Aristotle was invited to take take a brain test at myBrainLab. As my brain child, Aristotle has long been recognised for his wit and intellect – hence the nickname Aristotle. It was anticipated that he would perform the test with outstanding results. The results were eye-opening…
As we expected, Aristotle did well in most areas. What blew me away were the weaknesses in his working memory and long-term memory. Why was this surprising? Because when Aristotle was very young, his memory was phenomenal. He remembered information he had read about right down to the exact page of a book that he had read it from. Often, I had no memory of even having read it, let alone where it came from.
What happened? I have been asking myself that very question since the results of his test came out. After pondering about it, I think this may be the case…
We have always acknowledged Aristotle’s memory – perhaps a little too much. Similar to Carol Dweck’s warnings about the wrong kind of praise, I believe Aristotle had come to the belief that his memory was a talent he was born with. Rather than take the challenge to remember more complex material, he avoided tasks that might challenge his beliefs about his memory. “Use it or lose it” is what appears to have been the case.
What was also evident to the assessor was Aristotle’s drop in confidence when the questions became difficult. This was no surprise to me since I have previously noticed Aristotle’s unwillingness to push on when the going gets tough.
To say that I was not bothered by Aristotle’s results would be a lie – especially since working memory is one of the key qualities of successful individuals. Although I don’t need him to be the brightest or the best in school, I do want him to have the skill sets that will help him succeed at whatever he chooses to do with his life.
The good news is that we have identified Aristotle’s weaknesses and there is something we can do about it. Aristotle will be undertaking a course at myBrainLab and, at the end of it, he will be re-tested to observe how he performs in those areas. Once we have his new results, we’ll decide how to proceed from there. Stay tuned.
Disclosure: we were invited by myBrainLab to take the test and try their brain course.